The move from Linux to FreeBSD

Another happy, new FreeBSD user:

I found a major difference between Linux and FreeBSD: performance and memory usage. The performance was nearly same as Linux, but slightly better. Memory usage change, was drastic. FreeBSD is just too good at managing memory.


After the trial VPS, I started moving my stuff from the Gentoo VPS to the new one. Ran it for testing few days, and it continued to amaze me. FreeBSD’s official slogan is “The Power to Serve”. So much true is that! And that ended up as migrating other VPSes to FreeBSD as well.

Read the whole post here: The move from Linux to FreeBSD

BSDCan 2013 FreeBSD Presentation Videos

BSDCan 2013 sounds to have been a great success again this year, thanks to the organisers, speakers and attendees (e.g. Rick Miller, Warren Block, Renato Botelho and Ivan Voras).

If you were able to attend, it would be nice to hear in the comments below what you enjoyed most and which presentation you particularly enjoyed interested in.

If you were not able to attend, you can now watch the recorded presentations thanks to Scale Engine. (The video descriptions have been taken from the BSDCan 2013 Schedules).

[Read more…]

Debian GNU/kFreeBSD vs Debian 7.0 GNU/Linux

debian_logoWith the new Debian 7.0 Wheezy released, it was time for Phoronix to update some benchmarks comparing Debian GNU/kFreeBSD vs Debian 7.0: Debian GNU/kFreeBSD vs Debian 7.0 GNU/Linux. The outcomes have not changed much since last December’s test: Debian is overall slightly faster.

This is just for info only, let’s not get into Debian vs FreeBSD discussion.

I just wonder why the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD is used as project name. Well, I understand why, but it’s such a mouthful. Why not rename the project to DebianBSD or DebBSD?

About Debian GNU/kFreeBSD: Debian GNU/kFreeBSD is an operating system released by the Debian project, which uses the FreeBSD kernel, instead of the Linux kernel. “kFreeBSD” stands for “”kernel of FreeBSD” and “GNU/kFreeBSD” means “GNU with kernel of FreeBSD”. By combining a FreeBSD kernel with GNU based userland, Debian GNU/kFreeBSD supports PF, ZFS, Jails, NDIS drivers and is potentially less vulnerable to legal challenges.

FreeBSD 8.4 Released

freebsd_logo_textFourteen months since the release of FreeBSD 8.3, the FreeBSD Release Engineering Team has announced the availability of FreeBSD 8.4-RELEASE. This is the fifth release from the 8-STABLE branch which improves on the functionality of FreeBSD 8.3 whilst also introducing some new features.

Some of the highlights found in the 8.4 release are:

  • Gnome version 2.32.1, KDE version 4.10.1
  • Feature flags 5000 version of the ZFS filesystem; Asynchronous destruction of ZFS datasets; LZ4 compression and ZIO NOP-write optimisation.
  • Support for all shipping LSI storage controllers
  •  Bug fixes and updates to key components such as OpenSSL, OpenSSH, named, NFS, AWK, tcsh, and BZIP2, etc.

For a complete list of new features and known problems, check out the Release Notes
(detailed version) and Release Errata list.

More information about FreeBSD releases can be found on the Release Information page.

Reliable and Customer Friendly FreeBSD Hosting

A few months ago there was a discussion on the FreeBSD Central Google+ page about the most reliable and customer friendly hosting company for FreeBSD webhosting.

The following companies were recommended:

If you’re happy with your FreeBSD hosting company, please share with fellow readers and leave a comment below.


Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2013 FreeBSD Projects announced

gsoc2013-freebsdGoogle has chosen the 15 FreeBSD related projects below for Google Summer of Code 2013 which will start this month.

You will notice that most of the work will be around package management (ports, pkgng) and virtualisation (Xen, BHyve, VirtualBox) and file systems (FUSE, GlusterFS).

I think these are very interesting projects and will add great value to FreeBSD (10) when completed. It is probably a much greater project than can be done over the summer, but I think it would be great to see DragonFly’s HAMMER filesystem ported to FreeBSD (if possible).
Intelligent Download manager service for the Ports Collection
Student: Ambarisha | Mentor: Xin LI

The current ports infrastructure uses fetch to get distfiles. There are some drawbacks to this approach like picking the target site, duplicate downloads etc. This new design overcomes these drawbacks. [link]


XEN HVM Guest Support
Student: Bei Guan | Mentor: Justin T. Gibbs

This project optimizes the I/O performance of FreeBSD as a Xen HVM DomU. It provides a USB front-end driver and a SCSI front-end driver to FreeBSD Xen HVM DomU. With these drivers, FreeBSD DomU can access the USB and SCSI devices provided by Xen instead of that emulated by QEMU. It improves the performance of reading and writing data to the devices. Besides, this project will provide the event channel based IPI and physical interrupt delivery. They also optimize the performance of IPI and PIRQ for FreeBSD Xen HVM DomU. [link]


net80211 rate control API – 802.11n extensions
Student: Chenchong Qin | Mentor: Adrian Chadd

There is a simplistic rate control API in net80211 of FreeBSD, which lack the support of 802.11n features. 802.11n brought a 10x maximum net data rate compared to its predecessor, but, unfortunately, the hard-won rate up can be easily wasted if rate control hasn’t been properly performed. This project will extend the net80211 rate control API of FreeBSD to be 802.11n aware and be able to support multiple rate attempts. With the extended API, wireless throughput can be further improved. [link]


Port data compression services and video codecs to Capsicum
Student: Daniel Peyrolon | Mentor: Brooks Davis

During this project I will port some data compression services (bzip2,xz,zlib) and video codecs(libavcodec) to Capsicum. [link]


Qt and GTK+ Front Ends for PKGNG
Student: Justin Edward Muniz | Mentor: Eitan Adler

This project aims to actualize a GUI for advanced binary package management in FreeBSD. The recently released PKGNG utility is the foundation for this project; PackageKit will provide a friendly and intuitive user interface. The package management interface will be easy to use and understand for new FreeBSD users, while offering powerful tools to novice and advanced users. Features of this approach include automatic updates, desktop notifications, and package management within jails. [link]


Unattended encrypted kernel crash dumps
Student: Konrad WitaszczykMentor: Ed Maste

I want to improve kernel and savecore(8) to support encrypted crash dumps. I plan to use pefs as a tool to access dumps. [link]


packagekit backend for pkgng
Student: Matt Windsor | Mentor: Julien Laffaye

My proposal is to develop, test and document a PackageKit backend for pkgng, ideally with the view of being able to use an existing PackageKit frontend such as Apper to install, remove and upgrade packages on a FreeBSD system. [link]


Port GlusterFS to FreeBSD
Student: Mike Ma | Mentor: Sean Bruno

GlusterFS is an open source distributed file system that uses FUSE. It has been used in many different scenarios such as cloud computing. The code of Glusterfs relies a lot on Linux semantics, and now it’s becoming usable on NetBSD since NetBSD 6.0. Right now, GlusterFS won’t compile on FreeBSD. In this project, I’ll port GlusterFS and make it fully work on FreeBSD. [link]


Student: Neeraj | Mentor: Pedro Giffuni

1. Implement the FIFO interface (VOP_MKNOD()) : implementing this function in library so that one could be able to create fifo file and other kind of file also (special file also) 2. Run the appropriate unit tests in libfuse to test functionality in (1) . If the unit tests don’t exist in libfuse, then write unit tests for it. 3. Implement DTrace provider for FUSE : i would implement DTrace probes as a debugger tool in FUSE. with this add on in FUSE , one could be able to debug easily what is going on in FUSE. 4. Test with fsx: Writing test cases and test FreeBSD kernel and any other file system fsx. 5. Implement the kernel functionality to upgrade FreeBSD fuse.


VirtualBox shared folder support for FreeBSD guests
Student: Oleksandr | Mentor: Bernhard Fröhlich

VirtualBox is very popular virtualization product which supports a large number of operating systems. And also has many other features, one of main is “share folders”. It is used to transfer files using only internal resources of the system, without network connection. FreeBSD does’t have support this features with guests OS,and it is uncomfortable when using VirtualBox, that’s why this project is very useful for users and interesting to develop for me. [link]


Write new features for Capsicum
Student: oshogbo | Mentor: Pawel Jakub Dawidek

During this project I will write new features for Capsicum and I will also port fetch services to use Capsicum. [link]


USB device passthrough support on BHyVe
Student: Takuya ASADA | Mentor: Edward Tomasz Napiera?a

Support USB device passthrough on BHyVe, to make BHyVe more useful for users. [link]


PkgNG pluggable solver framework
Student: Vsevolod Stakhov | Mentor: bapt

PkgNG is the novel package management system designed for using in *BSD systems in conjunction with FreeBSD ports. Currently pkgng uses its own solver, however, it misses important features, such as alternatives logic, advanced con?ict resolving and provide/require logic. Furthermore, there are numerous researches related to solver algorithms and pkgng should provide pluggable interface for such solvers and eventually select an optimal one. So the main goal of this project is to design and implement pluggable API for pkgng solver that allows to use experimental solvers with fallback to default solver if there are no external solvers. [link]


AHCI device model in userspace for bhyve
Student: Zhixiang Yu | Mentor: Alexander Motin

Currently bhyve only supports virtio disk for the guest’s block device. This project will add AHCI device emulation to bhyve so that we can emulate normal cdroms and disks. This project will benefit bhyve a lot. First of all, since AHCI is widely supported in various Operating Systems, bhyve can support other nonproprietary and proprietary guest OSs without the virtio disk driver in those OSs. Secondly, this project will make it possible to install a GENERIC system from a emulated cdrom device. [link]


BHyVe suspend/resume feature
Student: ?? ?? (Iori YONEJI) | Mentor: Neel Natu
suspend/resume, a feature to save a running virtual machine state and to restore the state to a virtual machine help many hypervisor users. Through this project, this feature will be added to BHyVe. [link]

FreeBSD monitoring tool

Alexander has been working on a new FreeBSD monitoring tool and the first public release for FreeBSD is now available. He is looking for interested people who are willing to try and test it, and give him feedback.

We looking to build a proper, useful full coverage monitoring solution for FreeBSD and need your feedback.

You can read the announcement, the features list or visit for more information.

PC-BSD Hardware Store Opened

PC-BSD LogoJosh Smith has announced the initial launch of the PC-BSD hardware store. This resource is meant to make it easier to find hardware that has been tested to work on PC-BSD.

FreeBSD and PC-BSD are known to be quite particular with regards to hardware support, but now you can check or buy via the PC-BSD store hardware that is known to be working on PC-BSD, and therefore also on FreeBSD. Obviously you can always check the FreeBSD Hardware Notes that come out with each release, e.g. FreeBSD 10 Current9.0, 9.1 or 8.3.

So, if you want to make sure that your hardware is supported by PC-BSD or FreeBSD check the FreeBSD Hardware Notes, PC-BSD wiki hardware section or the PC-BSD Hardware Store. (via)